Hartlepool mental health hospital effectively empty for months amid calls for Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys Trust to bring services back

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Hartlepool’s dedicated mental health hospital has been effectively empty for more than six months.

The Mail understands that no inpatients are being treated at Sandwell Park, in Lancaster Road, since temporary wards for older people were relocated back to Roseberry Park, in Middlesbrough, in March.

And working-age adult inpatients have not been admitted for almost six years after older patients were moved from Roseberry Park to Sandwell Park in late 2017 due to issues with the Middlesbrough building.

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Instead, adults in Hartlepool and Easington in need of inpatient care continue to be diverted to Roseberry Park, and Lanchester Road Hospital, in Durham.

Sandwell Park, Hartlepool.  Picture by FRANK REID
Sandwell Park, Hartlepool.  Picture by FRANK REID
Sandwell Park, Hartlepool. Picture by FRANK REID

There are calls for the Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust, which runs Sandwell Park, to reinstate services amid a “mental health crisis” in the town.

The Mail was contacted by a resident with mental health issues who is unable to travel out of town and concerned for others in Hartlepool.

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A spokesperson for the Trust said: "Sandwell Park was temporarily re-purposed in 2017 to provide two older adult wards, as opposed to the single older adult and single working age adult ward that had been there previously.

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Jonathan Brash Labour parliamentary candidate for Hartlepool.Jonathan Brash Labour parliamentary candidate for Hartlepool.
Jonathan Brash Labour parliamentary candidate for Hartlepool.

"This was to support the rectification work at Roseberry Park. The older adult wards moved back to Roseberry Park in March 2023.

“We are now reviewing our plans for the next phase and hope to communicate our plans in the near future.”

Jonathan Brash, Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Hartlepool, said: “This issue has been going on for far too long and despite numerous promises of services returning to Hartlepool it still hasn’t happened.

"There is a mental health crisis in our town and patients are being failed.

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"We need mental health support in every community to tackle this problem. We need this service and more back in Hartlepool.”

Hartlepool Borough Council said it has been working with the Tees Esk and Wear Valleys trust and partners to improve local services as part of a more joined up approach with people reporting being quickly seen and supported.

A council spokesperson said: "We are aware that Tees Esk & Wear Valleys NHS Trust is working with local stakeholders, including the new Lived Experience Voice forum, to review mental health services, which will include confirming future plans for the Sandwell Park site in the near future.”